Gluten-free New Years Eve
This New Year’s Eve was very special because I got to spend it with Beth, Chris and their guests for a gluten-free Chinese Kamikaze Chef dinner! I was thrilled to accept the challenge of an entirely gluten-free meal and did my research before planning the appetizer menu. The Chinese cuisine is easily adaptable to GF dishes when you use organic Tamari (wheat-free soy sauce) and other gluten-free versions of sauces. The one sauce I could not find any GF varieties of was oyster sauce, which is a key ingredient in many Chinese dishes.
For the first appetizer, I made gluten-free pot stickers from scratch. I tried my hand at the dough using corn flour, but that kept falling apart. Beth informed me later that in any type of gluten-free baking, you want to mix at least four flours to get a good baking flour. Luckily I also had an all-purpose GF flour that worked wonderfully the second time around. I had to make the skins a little thicker than traditional pot stickers, or else they started to break apart. The final product turned out really well:
The second appetizer was Asian Beef Skewers which had been marinating overnight in a combination of Tamari, Hoisin, ginger, and garlic. They were so tasty!
The third and final appetizer didn’t make it into the pictures, but I served Chicken Lettuce wraps with a spicy soy drizzle. They were light and refreshing.
For our mystery ingredients, these first time guests really embraced the challenge!
Vegetables – Canned Water Chestnuts, Rutabaga, Bok Choy, Jalapenos, Broccoli and an orange
Proteins – Hot and Mild Italian Sausage, Cubed Beef, and fresh raw jumbo shrimps
Dairy – Cottage Cheese, Plain Yogurt, and Sour Cream
I brought all the grains to ensure everything was gluten-free so I also had some white rice in the cooker and some rice noodles as well.
With the sausage meats, I decided to make spicy Asian meatballs with a sweet and sour sauce. I used the jalapeno, diced bok choy, and fresh squeeze orange juice in the meatball mixture, and then combined soy, ketchup, orange juice, sugar, and cornstarch to make the sweet and sour sauce. I topped them with some sesame seeds for good measure.
After marinating the beef for an hour, I made a tasty Beef and Broccoli Lo-mein (or as close as you can get to lo-mein with gluten-free noodles).
The shrimp were deveined and cleaned and then stir-fried with the rutabaga, bok choy, water chestnuts, carrots, celery, and peas for a colorful fried rice dish. A few dollops of sour cream at the end gave this fried rice a nice creamy touch.
Lastly, and mostly challengingly, I strained and rinsed the cottage cheese so I was just left with the cheese curds. I had researched what I might be able to do with cheese to fit the cuisine and relied on a recipe I’d found for Chinese chili, where the cheese curds are the hearty part of the chili. We got some peppers, garlic, and ginger sauteing in sesame oil and then later added the cheese curds. At the end, I added in a few hearty spoonfuls of the plain yogurt to thicken the entire mixture. This was served over white rice in small take-out containers. It turned out to be the most popular dish!
It really was an amazing evening and I think everyone had a great New Year’s Eve. Thanks again to Beth and Chris for hosting the dinner! I hope to see you all again really soon.